Sept. 6, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
A public scoping meeting on the city’s massive and controversial proposal for 44th Drive in Long Island City will be taking place later this month.
The meeting is scheduled for Sept. 17 at the CUNY School of Law, and will be split into two sessions—one at 3 p.m. and the other at 6 p.m.
The scoping meeting focuses on the city’s proposed project, dubbed the Long Island City Innovation Center, and the potential environmental effects resulting from the project.
The proposal, put forth by the Economic Development Corporation and TF Cornerstone, calls for a 1.75 million square foot development featuring more than 1,000 units in two towers, a public school and park, and thousands of square feet of office and industrial space all within two waterfront sites.
But the city’s vision requires some zoning changes to the area, which will be granted or rejected after it undergoes a months-long public review process known as ULURP.
The scoping meeting, however, is part of the environmental review process that comes when a project and zoning change is anticipated to have significant environmental impacts. It’s also a precursor to ULURP, which is set to begin in the first half of 2019 for this project.
In the public scoping meeting, attendees can give feedback on the “draft scope of work”, or the variety of topics that should be looked at when the city and developers are determining the project’s environmental impact.
Topics typically included in the draft scope of work include infrastructure, traffic and parking, air quality, noise, natural resources, and more.
Comments made during the meeting are often incorporated into what will become the environmental impact statement, which specifically outlines impacts related to the rezoning and any mitigation measures to be used.
The city is also accepting written comments on the draft scope of work until 5 p.m. on Sept. 28.
The city’s project was first revealed in 2017, when it announced TF Cornerstone as the developer to help build out a massive mixed-use development focusing on office and industrial space in what is currently the site of a DOT roadway repair unit and a DOE parking lot.
The proposed project, while still in its early stages, has garnered massive push-back from residents and even from elected officials who say the development is too large in an area already overwrought with development. Many, in addition, say the city is wasting scarce publicly-owned land on luxury towers rather than bringing more public goods.
But the EDC and TF Cornerstone say the project is diverse, and will deliver hundreds of affordable homes, jobs, and workforce training programs—similar to what those opposed to the project have been asking for.
The public scoping will take place at the CUNY School of Law, located at 2 Court Square West. Written comments on the draft scope of work can be submitted by mail to:
Mayor’s Office of Environmental Coordination
Attn: Ingrid Young
253 Broadway, 14th Floor
New York, New York 10007